I have a camera. I love my camera. I take pictures. I love taking pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. Almost daily. Okay, daily. I’ve always felt alive behind the lens, excited to see a new shot, thrilled by the drastic changes of just a slight shift in angle, hypnotized by shadow and light, lines and forms. You can take a shot of the same place at first light and then again in the evening glow, and it can seem to be a completely different site. You can take a shot of rusty metal from 10 feet away, and then again 10 inches away and you might not be able to tell it’s the same texture or surface.
Not only do I feel alive, I feel comfortable. If I’m having an off day or off moment, I can pick up my camera and settle in to the familiar, knowing I’ll see amazing stories and fantastic images on the other side of the lens. You can imagine, then, my comfort level plummeting when my sister asked me to help her out and participate in a photo shoot for her hairstylist portfolio. Participate…as in be on the OTHER SIDE OF THE LENS…like a model. “No thank you,” is what I wanted to say. I knew that “no” was not an option, and certainly wasn’t going to “thank” her. So after some stammering and blinking…and more stammering, I relented.
And I survived. I survived, but not without some extremely comical facial expressions and stories captured permanently. Think blackmail material. Seriously…how awkward can one person be??!! Well, I sure showed them. After all, I’m used to capturing details, not being captured. I’m sure I was supposed to learn a lesson in stepping outside my comfort zone and facing a fear. Maybe I did. Maybe I grew just a little bit. Maybe I didn’t. The other side of the lens did give me some insight though. I was reminded that we all have talents. I got to see my sister use hers and shine that day, creativity oozing from her fingers and captured in the photos. I got to see a very talented photographer at work who amazingly made me feel about as comfortable as I was going to be on the other side of the lens! I watched others come alive while having their photos taken, vibrant, confident and lovely.
We all have talents. It is up to us to figure those out and use them. We must use them, not waste them. And we can’t let fear, or fear of failure hold us back. “Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.” ~ Henry Van Dyke